Howard County hobbled by torrential downpour, flooding

While all eyes were on the massive road collapsed in Charles Village , Howard County residents too suffered through an afternoon and evening of road closures due to widespread flooding.

No less than 27 roads were blocked or closed by 3:30 p.m. for swift moving water across the county. Columbia and surrounding communities received 5.94 inches of rain Wednesday, which totaled more than 7 inches after Tuesday’s downpour.

Longtime residents know Historic Ellicott City is one of the first throughways to close in Howard County given its low-lying proximity to the Patapsco River.

But Lawrence Fasick, a 50-year-old photographer living in Laurel, didn’t expect fish to be swimming across his backyard.

“It was scary,” Fasick said. “Fish were flopping all over the place on the ground.”

A normally quiet Patapsco River runoff is a picturesque setting for the veteran photographer but not Wednesday at his Gorman Road home.

“The water is flowing so hard trees are getting sucked up out of the ground,” Fasick said. “I felt bad because I couldn’t rescue every fish.”

Not far from Fasick, South Entrance Road near Route 29 southbound succumbed to the onslaught of showers.

"Due excessive traffic, my son and I could barely get into our apartment complex in which the entrance to the complex is adjacent to South Entrance Road,” Gwen Watson said.  “I've here lived only three years however, I've never seen this type of flooding before.”

Rus VanWestervelt had to brave an afternoon commute from Centennial High School where he teaches English to his Towson home.

“I know the places to avoid in Ellicott City when we get heavy rains such as these, but driving along Route 40 and heading home to Towson, I was shocked to see the level of the water at this bridge,” VanWestervelt said. “All I could think was, ‘We've still got another 5 hours of heavy rains to go. How bad is this going to get?’ Driving home, I realized that it could get much worse, and very quickly.”

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